if you're planning to make a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving here are some great wine and other pairings to serve with it.
I have a bit of a problem with pumpkin pie. I'm not a big fan of pumpkin and I don't have a massively sweet tooth which makes the thought of partnering it with a sweet wine a bit of a killer. But I know I'm in a minority and with Thanksgiving coming up on Thursday here are my top picks:
One of my favourite food bloggers Helen Graves of Food Stories selflessly subjected herself to an evening of chocolate and cocktail pairing at Choc Tales, a highlight of London's recent Chocolate Week which saw some of the country’s best chocolatiers paired with premier booze hounds. Here’s her report:
Despite the beautiful weather we’ve had over the past couple of days there’s a distinct late summer feel to the air which combined with the fact that the nights are drawing in reminds one - sadly - there aren’t that many evenings left for barbecuing this year. (Unless you’re one of those die-hards who grills all year round . . . )
Another good chocolate pairing this week - plain dark chocolate and delciously fudgy Cana Negra gran reserva Guatemalan rum from Marks & Spencer
You may find the idea of making cocktails daunting but bar consultant Kate Hawkings says it's simply a question of stirring a couple of good ingredients in a glass. Here are four of her current favourites.
The recent lunch hosted by Alfred Tesseron of Château Pontet-Canet at Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester revealed the extraordinary versatility of red Bordeaux and how it can be served right through a meal.
I was chatting to mixologist Robbie Bargh on Twitter (as you do) and told him I was looking for a great Christmas cocktail. His team at Gorgeous Group came up with this fantastic spiced rum and apple brandy Old Fashioned which totally hits the spot.
With the explosion of exotic spirits and liqueurs that is now hitting the supermarket shelves no-one need be stuck for an unusual gift this Christmas.
To kick off my coverage of the first Wine & Culinary International Forum in Barcelona last weekend (and while I disentangle the many complex threads on food and wine pairing) here are some highly practical points which were made by a high level panel of restaurant and wine critics including Jancis Robinson, Victor de la Serna of El Mundo and Nick Lander, restaurant critic for the Financial Times and author of the recently published The Art of the Restaurateur. (My comments in italics)
Although stollen is a little bit lighter than the classic British Christmas baking some of the pairings I suggested with mince pies (like sweet sherry and tawny port) will work too . . .
A recent email from a reader asked me to suggest a wine to go with “a triple coconut cake with a tangy pineapple icing served with fresh fruit salsa that has kiwi, strawberry, madarine oranges, blueberries and fresh pineapple in it”. Quite a challenge (I suggested demi-sec Champagne or a peach-flavoured liqueur topped up with fizz) but it got me thinking that there are many possible matches for cake beyond a cup of tea or coffee, particularly if you're serving it as a dessert.
I have to admit I was never very grabbed by the idea of eggnog until I tried it out for myself and discovered just how delicious it is - like velvety, vanilla-and-rum-scented air.
Unusually Father’s Day, which comes up this weekend, is celebrated on the same day in Britain, the US and France. I must say I think the hype for these ‘special days’ has got a bit out of hand but if mothers are pampered, hey, why not fathers too?
Sherry gets a bad rap for being granny’s tipple of choice but if you’ve never tried an authentic Spanish style sweet sherry you haven’t lived.
Last week our local tapas bar, Ocean, held a Brazilian evening with a talented local Bristol singer Frances Butt who is really into Latin music. (So much so that she has issued an album called The Girl from Wolverhampton - where she grew up though obviously not where her soul lies . . .)
If you want to celebrate Mardi Gras in style you can do no better than go for one of the classic New Orleans cocktails which, according to my learned friend Jared Brown of Mixellany, are the Ramos Gin Fizz, Hurricane, Vieux Carré and the Obituary.
We automatically think of matching wine and cheese or beer and cheese but there are many drinks that work just as well and can give a real ‘wow factor’ to your cheeseboard.